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Poster: jds121291 Date: Jun 4, 2011 9:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

so i was perusing the allmans forum on their website and someone posted this quote from butch trucks in response to an allmans vs the dead thread.

"There were bands that jammed, like the Grateful Dead. Their jams were very country and bluegrass based. Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it. The later years of the band it almost never happened. It is my opinion that there were only three guys in the band who could really play and that was Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann. The nights it was really good were when the three of them really clicked and the other guys just stayed out of the way. Toward the end, the other guys took on a stronger position as Jerry got further out of it. They would play for hours and they would just noodle and go nowhere."

i love mickey, but him excluding bobby really got me. i know there are bobby-bashers out there (for some reason? i mean its your favorite band) but even so, i feel like its fairly obvious whether you like his playing or not that he was a talented, and very unique guitar player.

also his statement of "every once in a while they would lock in and find a groove" is just totally misinformed.

i would say "ah hell, some people just dont get the dead, big deal" as that is how i feel, but that would make this post rather pointless.

so just wanted to know what you guys think about this?

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Poster: splue Date: Jun 5, 2011 8:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

what if "finding a groove" is 2 subjective 2 b shared by all?

other people may find grooves in nongrooves

maybe its a definition issue???

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 5:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I don't see how Butch's assessment of the Grateful Dead could be any more accurate. He is 100% correct about every single point he made.

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Poster: roughyed Date: Jun 5, 2011 12:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I doubt Branford Marsalis or David Murray would agree.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I think Jerry himself would have agreed...

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jun 6, 2011 11:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

You think Jerry would have agreed with that? I don't. I think Jerry would be in denial that the whole reason he was bored and the band was " going nowhere" was mostly HIS fault

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 6, 2011 3:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I have to disagree. I think Jer was very cognisant of that and just didnt give a shit...

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jun 6, 2011 3:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

perhaps but Jerry wasn't always quite as modest as it is made out I don't think.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 5, 2011 7:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I'm not sure I agree 100% , but I think his opinion, might have more truth to it than we would like to admit . From musician's point of view, coming outside the band , it makes sense . Bob Weir ( as guitar player ) is a subtle, and totally original musician . Not everyone is going to appreciate him right off .

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Poster: jds121291 Date: Jun 5, 2011 3:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Cliff, I usually think your pretty funny in your latter era bashing, although i like the 80's (just dont prefer it) but i dont see how you could agree with 100% of Trucks' comments and consider yourself a fan of the Grateful Dead. I mean you think they rarely found a groove but yet devote a lot(im guessing) of your time to listening to their music? that doesnt seem to make sense to me. just wondering about that.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jun 5, 2011 4:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I think your initial post in this thread has been a really good springboard for discussion, but it seems silly to question Cliff's love for the band! His deep and sympathetic skills as a listener and commentator seem unquestionable and I guess you know that... I think it is pretty easy to understand why someone might not like post 75 Grateful Dead much but still be absolutely devoted to the band - and I am a listener who listens to every year, and can usually find something to enjoy, even if I don't think it makes a fair comparison with a good 1970 show.
Cliff's year by year show ratings and many other posts are really a great contribution to the community. I think it's great to discuss and argue the virtues and flaws of different eras, but Cliff has explained his tastes with good justifications. I don't think he was really meaning to say that Weir shoulda been kicked outta the band by saying he thought Trucks was right in focusing on Billy, Phil, and Jerry.

Not that I have any special right to tell anyone else what to post or that Cliff needs me to talk about what a great poster he is. Peace.

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-06-05 23:44:23

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Poster: jds121291 Date: Jun 5, 2011 7:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

"Cliff's year by year show ratings and many other posts are really a great contribution to the community." - exactly, which is why it was so perplexing to me to see him agree with Butch 100%. my question wasnt pertaining to which era's he loved how that would make him less of a head but as to how he could agree that they rarely found a groove if its the band he loves.

and i never mentioned anything about weir when questioning Cliff.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 5:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Thank you!

I've posted plenty of praise for Weir's guitar work here and in my show reviews over the years. He has a unique style of playing, and he has contributed to many highly compelling passages that I enjoy and have referenced. But as much as his skills have progressed, his musicianship falls short of the "core three" and I think even Weir would admit it.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 3:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

The fact that I hate 80's Grateful Dead makes me less of a Deadhead?

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Poster: jds121291 Date: Jun 5, 2011 6:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

No no, thats not what i was saying. I'm just asking how you can agree with Butch in that they would very rarely find a groove or that it was few and far between?

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jun 5, 2011 8:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I 100% disagree with this: "Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it."

Do you really think that they only locked in and found a groove from time to time?

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 6, 2011 4:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I guess it all depends on your definition of "locking in"

By my definition, and obviously that of Trucks, the Grateful Dead rarely locked in. Their playing style did not lend itself to "locking in" like that of the Allmans.

As LIA has pointed out, "the Allmans didn't jam like the Dead did; the Allmans had fewer styles & were more focused on a strict blues/country groove, preferring tight, rehearsed solos to on-the-edge group improv."

Is that difficult for you to understand?

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jun 6, 2011 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

No, Cliff, not so hard to understand, even for my feeble mind. But it does seem silly to quibble about the definition of something as amorphous as "locking in." To me, the idea that the Dead were rarely locked in -- especially during certain periods -- is laughable. Perhaps Trucks uses that term differently that most people; perhaps he doesn't really "get" the Dead. But to me, the Dead absolutely epitomize the term.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 6, 2011 8:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Interesting. I find the music of the Grateful Dead to be the antithesis of "locked in" and that's why I enjoy it so much more than that of the Allmans!

I'd love to see some exammples of what you consider the Grateful Dead "locking in" like the Allmans...

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jun 6, 2011 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

We're obviously talking about different things. I certainly don't define "locked in" as "sounding like the Allman Brothers." We're talking about apples and oranges here, and trying to apply a specific definition to a term that is open to interpretation.

To me, when the Dead were playing well, they were locked in -- listening, anticipating, moving together and complementing each other perfectly through complex jams. In my interpretation of it, it's perfectly feasible to be "locked in" even during an open-ended jam.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 6, 2011 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I thought so. Trucks was right. The Grateful Dead really didn't "lock in" all that much. Which was a good thing in my opinion...

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jun 6, 2011 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Perhaps you're talking about that "signature" Allman Brothers sound where Dicky and Duane would play the same riff simultaneously and note-for-note. If that's your definition of "locked in" then I agree completely.

When I say that the Dead are "locked in," I simply mean that they're playing together, anticipating each other's moves, and turning on a dime when it counts. Very different.

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Poster: splue Date: Jun 5, 2011 8:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

great point!!

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 5, 2011 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Skuzz and Tell you guys both have valid points, and though i agree Weir is seriously underrated, i won't argue with the fact that the core of the band is a lot of the time Jer, Phil and Bill.

I just have a real problem with Truck's notion that "Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it." this is complete nonsense to me!! It just shows to me that he really has no idea what he's talking about. I realize i'm a bit defensive here, and i realize that not every musician is going to be enamored with the Dead the way that we are. I just think that as a musician, you have to respect the band on some level, whether you like them or not. His comments do not sound very respectful to me. But in the end it's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. We all know what opinions are like anyway ;-)

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-06-05 16:50:41

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-06-05 16:54:34

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Sure, I can see that--ie, how many times it happened, etc., and you are right to be defensive if you take the entire 30 yrs as "good"...but, BTrucks is probably like me (har), and if I were to judge it, I'd say 24 yrs of the 30 weren't so hot...this is no news to anyone around here, of course. So, my pt is, if he were even vaguely aware of what other players were saying from the late 70s on, I imagine he felt sad (for what JG had become with all the issues), just as he did for Greg A., etc., etc. Thus, he might have "stopped listening", just like I did in 82.

All of that is by way of defending your defensive take on it, but to rationalize the opposing view a bit by pointing out that even many of us here would "write off" the last ten yrs of the DEAD, and some, even the last 20 yrs or so...if he's using those numbers, he could rightfully say "it didn't happen often"...IMHO, as usual.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jun 5, 2011 12:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Defensiveness and later years

I have the utmost respect for your way of hearing the band, and your posts to this forum have helped me "learn new things" while listening, so don't take my comments as disagreement, just perspective.

I take 67-94 as "good" but 68-74 is "transcendental" - and I don't feel emotionally defensive about my appreciation for the band's later work. I've devoted a lot of my life to serious musical study and performance and my "home genre" is moldy European classical, so I feel fairly confident my ears are screwed on correctly.

I think that the element you respond most to in music - based on your tastes in Grateful Dead performances and your love for Cream (who I agree are magnificent!) - is a certain kind of focused, rock and roll blues improv. I am sure you understand and love a lot of music of all kinds (don't want to sound like I'm being critical of your taste) but I think that is just what you like the best.

For me, that musical language is something I have learned to love - when I first started listening to the band, the late 60s sound was "too rock and roll" for me to appreciate fully, but I have since grown to love it, and my appreciation for rock and roll in general is because listening to the GD "taught me" the meaning of rock, so to speak.

I think everyone can hear that the band moved away from that sound in later years, and I agree that many of the musical elements that are wonderful in the band's early years more or less vanished. The counterbalancing factor is that many new musical elements that I enjoy and believe are valid and well-performed musical ideas (both songs and jams) appear throughout the band's post-retirement career. My ears hear a lot of wonderful things in Bob Weir's post-retirement compositions, for instance - I think Sailor->Saint, Estimated, Victim or the Crime are good compositions and passages like the St. of Circumstance polyrhythm/crescendo jam are musically compelling.

I think it is a valid and understandable personal taste to listen only to the years you enjoy, but I think the claim that rich musical experiences are missing from later years is somehow an objective truth is not true.

That said, I still also agree that the best 100 shows in Grateful Dead history all took place prior to 1974!

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-06-05 19:34:18

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Defensiveness and later years

Cool; appreciate your well articulated perspective, and am in agreement...of course, I love a good Bob Bash (ahem), but much of it is more or less "in good fun".

I could really relate to that earlier post about how showing up at a DEAD concert in the mid 70s was a shocking experience in that they weren't the band I'd prepared for by listening to Live Dead and S&R all those yrs. Of course, that was an unrealistic expectation (it was all on me, and I did come to enjoy the shows thoroughly, but I did always think something had changed). Much of what I do now is wallow in the abundance of material available from that earlier time period, thanks to LMA!

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

actually i don't see it that way at all. really i take only about half of those years as good (i.e. '66-'83) and about 8 years ('68-'74) as great.

to me Trucks is trying to insinuate that during those great years they were totally inconsistent. he first says: "Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it." then: "The later years of the band it almost never happened...Toward the end, the other guys took on a stronger position as Jerry got further out of it. They would play for hours and they would just noodle and go nowhere."

so even if Trucks is writing off the later years and saying they were totally inconsistent relative to how many good vs. bad years (somewhat valid imho), he is still trying to say that during the most consistent '68-'74 (or whatever you consider it to be) period they only found a groove once in a while. i can in no way defend this part of his argument.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 5, 2011 5:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Well, I think Butch was writing rather vaguely (perhaps his thoughts were vague in the first place), as what he means is rather unclear.
If you really wanted to analyze it though, he says pretty clearly that "the nights it was really good were when the three of them really clicked and the other guys just stayed out of the way." I can see how Mickey & whoever was on keyboards could 'get in the way', though I have to wonder how that applies to Weir.
There certainly were times in the long jams where Weir 'stayed out of the way', but it basically became Hartbeats music at those points! It doesn't strike me that in the best Dead jams, Weir is going off & hiding so Phil & Jerry can shine more... But his style is sometimes self-effacing so it's hard to notice just what he's doing; maybe Butch is used to more assertive guitarists who solo a lot! (He does imply that Weir & "the other guys" stepped up more in the later days, which is true.)

But Butch also seems to say that toward the end, as Jerry got 'further out of it', is when the other members would noodle more and go nowhere - implying that it was Jerry who mainly gave a direction to Dead jams. Which is an interesting implication - but is that what Butch means, or was that a general statement about their whole career? Maybe the memory of a long '90s Space was lingering in Butch's mind here....

And his saying that the Dead's jams were very "country based" leaves me wondering just which jams he was thinking of, after the early '70s. Did the Dead have more 'country jams' than, for instance, the Allman "Blue Sky" Brothers? Umm, no.

One also has to wonder what Butch considers "a groove", if the Dead rarely found one. Maybe for him, it was all downhill after the Pigpen/Lovelight days? Heck, even the 'disco Dead' was all about the groove. (I admit many of my favorite early-'70s jams do not groove much, but are "locked in" in a more subtle way. But as Cliff mentioned, the Dead had more going on musically than a locked-in groove.)

So it seems to me that Butch's actual position is imprecise & hard to pin down, except that he found the Dead rather sloppy/noodley much of the time, and not entirely to his taste - and perhaps because of this reaction, it doesn't sound like he's a frequent or "serious" Dead listener. Not that he needs to be; he has his own band!

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-06-06 00:55:49

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Poster: bear06460 Date: Jun 6, 2011 7:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

weir is probably the most underrated rhythm guitarist of all time. do the people that bash him ever even listen to what hes doing behind garcia? there probably too focused on garcias playing to even listen and really appreciate it. if you wanna compare the allmans and the dead (which really is like comparing apples and oranges as said by someone else already) and say that the allmans "locked in more" then why not compare betts and weir if butch trucks is going to exclude bobby from being "someone who can really play". betts is a great rhythm and lead guitarist (and did some incredible guitar work with duane when he was alive) but i still think weir accomplished alot more with the guitar then dickey ever did. its not always about long intricate guitar solos. listening to songs like estimated prophet, sugar magnolia, the music never stopped and playing in the band only reinforce this for me. i love the allmans and always will but their jamming was never the same after duane died. and the dead were a band that took chances on a nightly basis and improvised more than any other band of their era. the stringing together of different songs was something hardly any other bands in that era were doing. The allmans played their songs almost the same way every night with some improvised guitar and keyboard solos mixed in. to say the dead only locked in once in a while is a joke. just my opinion though.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 5, 2011 8:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

This is such an interesting thread. So many insightful, thoughtful and nuanced points from so many folks. And to the think, it started with a comment from ... a drummer!

http://www.thepickyapple.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/muppet_animal.jpg

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jun 5, 2011 12:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

There is truth to this quote from the viewpoint of conventional rock and roll; but the Grateful Dead were much more than conventional rock and roll. I believe Butch Trucks only understands a portion of the band's musical vocabulary. For a great deal of their career the Grateful Dead were lame from the perspective of what many listeners expect from a "rock band" but they were not a rock band, they were a "music band" and the boundaries of the rock genre are not sufficient to understand much of what they played.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jun 5, 2011 6:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

In the Allmans message board thread this quote appears in, the link back to the original article appears to be broken; I'm sort of curious as to the context of the quote, although certainly Trucks's opinion is pretty well spelled out here.

I've defended Weir's substantial contributions to the GD numerous times in the past and feel no need to do so again this morning, suffice to say that to me there was more to the Dead than just Jerry, Billy, and Phil. I do agree that the quality of the band's performances was largely dependent on Jerry's level of involvement as he drifted in and out of his Persian haze during the second half of the band's career. While Jerry wasn't the GD all by himself, there was/is no GD without him. He was the one truly indispensable member.

But whether or not other musicians respect the Dead doesn't matter to me. I like them, and that's ultimately all that matters. I definitely don't subscribe to the idea that the only people who don't have a high regard for the Dead are people who haven't listened closely enough. I may not agree entirely with Trucks's assessment, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid one. Not everyone is as impressed with the GD as the members of this forum, even those who've listened closely to- and even played with -the band.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 5, 2011 12:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I think much of what Butch says is understandable from his perspective. I'm pretty sure that the version of the Dead he "locked onto" was the '68-'70 two-drummer period with lots of driving, straight-ahead jams - I mean, that was the Dead style that the Allmans most closely approached. So I'd guess to him, the jams of the later years that don't stick so closely to "the groove" might not have been so compelling.

And remember, we don't even know how much Dead Butch listened to after '73.... Might have been very little. The last Dead show he actually played in was 6/10/73, that set with Lot to Laugh>That's All Right, NFA>GDTR; and he would've listened to them at the Watkins Glen shows - so it makes sense that he'd remember the Dead as a mostly "country & bluegrass" act. (Funnily enough, to a deadhead's ears it might seem to be Dickey Betts who's giving the 'country-ish' flavor to those RFK jams...)

And his comments about the "later years" might not be based on being really familiar with the music - maybe more on reputation. I mean, it's classic "common knowledge" that the later Dead just noodled for hours and went nowhere....when true fans of the band know that they'd only noodle & go nowhere for a half-hour at a time!

Plus, as Cliff said, the Allmans didn't jam like the Dead did; the Allmans had fewer styles & were more focused on a strict blues/country groove, preferring tight, rehearsed solos to on-the-edge group improv. If that was Butch's bag, even the Watkins Glen jam might've sounded like aimless noodling to him!

Also, since I presume he was just quickly posting in some internet exchange, I wouldn't pick apart his words too closely.... We don't know if by "later years" he means after '77 or after '90 or what... And he might not literally have meant that the Dead just played "bluegrass-based jams" or that Weir was negligible. Although, if he was implying that Weir didn't play guitar solos like Dickey Betts.....well, Weir didn't! (Maybe he was also implying that Mickey Hart didn't play drums like Butch Trucks!)

It's a small point, but maybe worth mentioning, that while the Dead joined the Allmans for many a Mountain Jam or Not Fade Away, Duane was the only Allman who played in a Dark Star.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 4, 2011 10:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

i love and respect Butch, but i don't believe he's heard some of the tapes i've spent a considerable amount of time listening to ;-)

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 4, 2011 10:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

seriously though, i think the idea that since he's a musician he must "know" more or have a more valid opinion of a body of work is nonsense. his opinion seems to be based on a very limited experience of the band's music, maybe just from the few times they jammed with each other. i can't imagine this guy has ever given them a serious listen.

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-06-05 05:58:51

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jun 5, 2011 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I take umbrage with three parts of Trucks statement as it relates to the 72'-74'portion of the bands history.First only a portion of the bands music was country/ bluegrass based,the bulk of their repertoire and certainly the more "jam" based material had very little to do those styles,if one wants to nitpick you could make the point that Jerry's style was very informed by bluegrass banjo players,but I don't think during Dark Star Earl Scruggs jumps to mind.
Second,I find the "every oncein a while they would find a groove" comment to be completely without merit since there are literally hundreds of examples of the band playing unique,complex and interesting music right here on the archive on such pieces as Dark Star,PITB,Other One,Eyes of the World,Bird Song and in a different manner on the rest of their catalog.
Finally,to infer that Keith and Weir weren't capable of "really playing" is ludicrous.While Keith might not have been a great pianist,he surely was very competent and fit the band perfectly,adding some beautiful and inventive piano and keyboard work.As for Weir's ability on guitar,it should go with out saying that he is a fine guitarist,singular in style.
Mr. Trucks sounds a little bitter perhaps jealous of the Dead's poularity.I find it funny that he would call out another bands music when his band is mired in the white boy blues genre and has not been relevant since Duane died in 1971.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

"... you could make the point that Jerry's style was very informed by bluegrass banjo players,but I don't think during Dark Star Earl Scruggs jumps to mind."

Then how do you explain the ending on the 45 rpm single version of Dark Star?

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jun 6, 2011 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Honestly Duckpond I have never heard the 45 rpm single of Dark Star since I have no interest at all in the bands studio efforts,but since you bring it up I would assume it has either some banjo or banjo influenced playing on it.I would explain that by saying that version has some banjo or banjo influenced playing on it as opposed to the majority which doesn't.My point was the improvisational music was less influenced by country/bluegrass roots than other styles,if you hear it differently than so be it.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Jun 6, 2011 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

"My point was the improvisational music was less influenced by country/bluegrass roots than other styles,if you hear it differently than so be it."

I get your point jerlouvis, and I'll agree that we all can hear things differently . . . but, your having not heard that strange and silly 2:44 Dark Star single, let my tongue-in-cheek response to your banjo comment - specifically with you mentioning Earl Scruggs - fall flat. To let you know, after a quick paced, jaunty '68 style Dark Star that features chorused vocals, sitar-like sounds, a brief acoustic guitar bit - and no improvisation whatsoever - the tune ends with Jerry reciting prose while playing a short, brisk, and a very strong Earl Scruggs style banjo bit. . . . I actually responded, 'cuz I thought your Scruggs / banjo comment was alluding to the single. Some time when you have 3 minutes to spare and want to see why a Dark Star / Earl Scruggs relationship does indeed exist, check it out. I know of one musician who took up banjo and has made a comfortable living all because he was so taken with that bit on the single. . . . funny old world.

Along these lines, I've always felt that what many folks call the 'Mind Left Body Jam' was bluegrass and banjo influenced. Your thoughts or comments would be welcome.

And, by the way, I agree with much of what both you and Butch Trucks have stated . . . we all hear it differently.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 6, 2011 6:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

"What many folks call the 'Mind Left Body Jam' was bluegrass and banjo influenced."

I doubt this. I think it may sound this way cause Jerry's fingerpicking the chords sometimes - and on 9/21/72 it does come out of that bluegrassy jam, kind of like a cross with the Goin' Down the Road intro. But fingerpicking arpeggios doesn't necessarily mean Jerry's channeling the banjo....any more than his using the slide in the Mind Left Body jam means it was influenced by blues slide playing! It was kind of a combination of everything....
Actually I hear more of a bluegrassy element the way Jerry plays that extended outro to Playing in the Band they'd do in '74!

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jun 6, 2011 4:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

After reading the description of that Dark Star in your response DP,somewhere in the recesses of my crispy brainpan I do recall hearing that version some many years ago and now better understand your original post.As for the bluegrass/banjo influence I find that it filters it's way into the music more in the way Jerry plays his guitar with a banjo technique than a strong country/bluegrass/banjo resultant sound during the jams.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

It's really an indisputable fact that that the playing style of the Allman Brothers Band was much tighter and focused than that of the Grateful Dead. The Allman's perfotmances sound a great deal more polished than those of the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead rarely "locked-in" with laser focused intensity a la the Allmans. But this does not make the Allmans any better than the Grateful Dead, or their live music superior.

I enjoy the music of the Grateful Dead a great deal more than that of the Allmans. There is a reason that we collect GD shows. Do the performances of the Allmans vary as much as those of the Grateful Dead. Is one Allman Brothers Band live rendition of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" or "Statestboro Blues" that different from any other?

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Here's Robert Christgau's review of the allman's "At Fillmore East":

Four sides comprising seven titles--only two of them repeated (ad infinitum) from the band's studio albums--and they sure do boogie. But even if Duane Allman plus Dickey Betts does equal Jerry Garcia, the Dead know roads are for getting somewhere. That is, Garcia (not to bring in John Coltrane) always takes you someplace unexpected on a long solo. I guess the appeal here is the inevitability of it all. B-

This succinctly summarizes by feelings about the Allmans vs. the Dead. The A.B.s are at their best with shorter jams (I'm talking 10-15 minutes) with lots of solo trading. None of the individual members could hold my attention for more than a few minutes (even Duane). Elizabeth Reed from the above mentioned album is a great cut, but the soloing, although very skillful, is pretty straightforward rhythmically and harmonically.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

I am fairly certain that if the GD were of the mindset to rehearse a show and play it the same way every night they too could have been much tighter and had produced a far more polished product,at which point they no longer would have been the GD.
Garcia in his prime was far more interesting and all around superior player to the highly over rated Mr. Clapton,as for the tandem of Lesh/Kreutzman in relation to Bruce/Baker I see that as a push.While Cream's music was good it was just straight ahead rock and roll,and how hard is that.I don't hear anything that Bruce/Baker tandem played that Lesh/Kreutzman couldn't handle.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 4:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

If you can get ahold of tapes of live shows, the way JBruce handled a bass was unreal. The fashion in which he could bend notes, literally, was breath-taking...this doesn't always come thru in standard releases. I've known two serious bass players in my life, both of whom were DEAD heads first and foremost, and fashioned much of their style after Phil; nonetheless, in recent discussions with them they both agreed that JB stood apart, almost to the degree Jimi did with lead players. Only two twits, I know, but they have made a living (modest, no doubt) playing the instrument...FWIW. I take your pt that it was straight up blues based R&R, and limited in that respect.

This is not to say we don't all like the DEAD more, but any discussion among serious musical sorts discussing the 60s ALWAYS includes EC, JB & GB, and though it pains us, not necessarily JG (but they should), PL (probably should), and BK (not so sure). A number of bass players in successful bands from the 80s mention JB as an inspiration (in my readings anyhow) but not our man Phil...not sure why, but perhaps worth considering.

Still, overall body of work? Of course we find more to the DEAD. But I am talking a narrow aspect of pure skill/talent.

We'll have to agree to disagree on BK vs GB; I am not sure that is even up for discussion unless we go "apples and oranges" on the taste biz...

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jun 5, 2011 5:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

WT,I wasn't so much down playing Jack and Ginger's abilities as touting Phil and Bill's.I fully recognize Jack Bruce's brilliance and over the years have seen him perform in different types of musical settings and acquit him self quite nicely showing great versatility.As you said about Ginger we will have to agree to disagree.

For me this topic wasn't so much about which music is better,but once again another jerkoff like Butch Trucks speaking about something he is obviously unqualified to comment on.Just because you play an instrument doesn't automatically qualify you as an expert on all musical topics,Gene Simmons and Kenny G are and I don't care to hear their opinions.I don't think he would enjoy Weir saying the Allman's music is well practiced,derivative horseshit and that the only talented members are dead(Duane,Berry),kicked out(Dicky),or hired guns(Warren,Derek).As a fellow musician who knows these guys for 40 years and last year had them join (Weir,Phil) his band onstage you would think he could keep these petty remarks to himself.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 8:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Yeah, thinking through it again, there could be some aspects to it that are a bit over the top (BT's comments); I was taking it lightly, in the spirit of many that critized the boys for being loose, etc--ie, giving him the benefit of the doubt, motivation wise. And frankly, I don't know squat about him vis-a-vis axes to grind or general comments that might peg him as a hyper-critical sort regarding the DEAD.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jun 5, 2011 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

My point exactly! I understand LiAs point that he may be speaking vaguely, and we don't really understand the context of what he's saying necessarily. But to me it comes off as the arrogance of someone whom just because they are a musician, their opinion is garnering more respect than it merits. Defensive maybe, but thats just my two cents!

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-06-06 04:21:13

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Jun 7, 2011 3:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Cliff , This whole locked in phrase was eating at me ever since this post started..I looked but couldn't find it but I'm sure all this came from the liner notes from the closing of the Fillmore East by the Allmans. It wasn't Butch Trucks who wrote the notes but I'm sure this is where it's picked up on. The fact that a professional musician has an opinion should not be that hard to grasp whether or not you agree w/ it or not. I've said many times that they basically sucked and wasn't worth the $ or time put in .Then you have the gem of shows that just flow ,no noodling,no tuning ,no ridiculous banter or unwanted feedback but the true unfiltered flowing music you knew was going to happen, yes those were the shows worth going to see and for me a real dick of a critic they have taken places I've never been before and certainly would call most of that being locked in.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Bingo; and of course, this is the context in which he made his comment, I am sure.

A la the Broken Record, I have all the CREAM shows, and Jack, Ginger and Eric would certainly agree with Butch BUT as with the ABB, as amazing as what CREAM could do, it is something you can only listen to for a few yrs straight (har) before you've heard it all. They are much tighter, and would view, as they noted, that the DEAD were not in their league, and that is true, like it or not.

Endless noodling, wanderings, latter era lack of energy and innovation, etc., were (oftentimes) hallmarks of the band we love, so of course other great musical talents will scratch their heads at the long time interest and hero worship.

I am certain JBruce could have done anything with a bass that Phil could, but lacking the other components of the DEAD on stage (and absent the interest, no doubt), he didn't, but that's what being unique and individualistic (so critical in all 'artforms') is all about it seems to me.

Hope all is well with the fish, and your pursuits of them, D; been a while...

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 2:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

Catching some Striped Bass WT, but nothing very big. Just started a new gig last week, been listening to plenty of 80's Grateful Dead.

The new boat I'm running has Serius but the mix I have been hearing has been disapointing. Lots of studio music and plenty of later era junk :(

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 5, 2011 9:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

Well, I beg to differ...the two bands played a great many times together, and were linked at the hip by the Fillmore runs, Bill Graham, and certainly all of us in the Bay Area in the early 70s when we viewed, rightly or wrongly, the ABB as the southern fried DEAD.

BTrucks is "right on", IMHO, and yet, of course you're right that it doesn't really matter, BUT to know what others that "made it" have to say about their fellow travelers in the music biz counts a bit more, in my book, than what say, me or LiA or whomever here has to say.

EG, when Jack Bruce trots out a list of the best bass players ever, I listen. When Jerry and Mickey agree the night they saw CREAM that they (CREAM) were the "best frickin band in the World", it means something...

How much more it means I won't debate, but I think if we polled everyone here at the forum, the ranking of music talent would look something like this:

JG
PL
BK
BW + keybd players + Mickey (I am saying it's close enough for debate, but the top three are no brainers).

Does anyone think otherwise? Bob lovers might put him third, and fight the remaining folks, but BTrucks got it just about right it seems to me...

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

I think there are 2 points that he makes and one is certainly debatable. Bob was important to the band but he was not in the same league as the top 3, so I am in agreement with his first point.

The debatable statement is "Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it. The later years of the band it almost never happened."

I'll agree with the later years statement but to say they were locked in few and far between in the years 1968-1981 is flat out wrong! Isn't almost all of 1972, 1973 & 1977 viewed as being outstanding with very few exceptions? Summer of 1974 and I'll even throw in 1981 as being exceptional as well.

Then again we do not know the context of the statement, but does it really matter? It's not going to change my listening habits.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 10:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

"Once and a while they would really lock in and find a groove. It was very few and far between but they would do it. The later years of the band it almost never happened."

I knew you would disagree with that statement billydlions :)

And later on Utopian will chime in here, link some shows from 1987 and claim that the Grateful Dead were locking in while Jerry was high on Persian, but the sad fact is Trucks was right about everything...

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Poster: utopian Date: Jun 6, 2011 4:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Wrong again.

Jerry started smoking Persian in 76, as per skully's book when he names the exact date... Anyone?
Apparently he was not partaking in 87 when he was in a clean mode.

Peace

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jun 5, 2011 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

Why did you think I would disagree with that statement? I did agree with the later year part of what he said. I'm actually defending your era!

Anyway Cliff, it's been a long time since we've had a good debate, but the golf course is calling my name right now.

BTW- fishing has been amazing down here the last few months. It almost makes me wish I had a boat!

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2011 1:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

It all depends on your definition of "locked-in"

By my definition, I dont think the Grateful Dead "locked in" all that much prior to 1977.

To me locked in means a great deal more than just cohesive jamming. I don't think the playing style of the Grateful Deal lent itself to "locking-in" In fact quite the opposite is true. This is likely the reason that we enjoy their music so much. It's more about where they go than how they get there...

What have they been catching down in Stuart lately?

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jun 5, 2011 7:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks is DEAD on...as CLIFF notes...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/outdoors/

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Jun 5, 2011 11:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Butch Trucks Quote (Dead-Related)

One man's "noodling" is another man's rapture.

Butch is more structured and linear. Nothing wrong with that. I guess the Dead appeals more to those who "think outside the box".

For an example of a such "noodling", the Darkstar jam from the above mentioned Veneta show, especially where is goes into a Phil and Billy break, is light years from Butch's box.